Friday, November 20, 2009
....Latin for oyster fork.Can you believe there was a time when people didn't use forks?! They used a knife for solids and a spoon liquids!! Or even worse...their hands!! How very uncivilized!! (note the sarcasm in my voice)
The fork seen here is a small three pronged fork, most likely an oyster fork found in Unit 80 during our search for the Swann House. Now, it could also be a fish fork, fruit fork, or strawberry fork. We're guessing oyster fork. Oyster forks are made to follow the shape of the shell so it is easier to lift the meat from the shell. Surely if James Swann ran an oyster house, he would have had this handy utensil, wouldn't he?
One of the earliest dinner forks is attributed to Constantinople in 400 A.D.; it can be seen in the Dumbarton Oaks collection in Washington, D.C. Northern Europeans long considered forks to be unmanly or devilish. Early forks ranged from 2 to 4 prongs with the 4 prong fork being the most common "dinner fork" that we use today.
Today, depending on need, a set of flatware may contain five forks: dinner fork, fish fork, luncheon fork, salad or dessert fork, and seafood fork.
My head is spinning from the idea of having to go through "dinner etiquette" in order to figure out which one to use...I am all for going back to eating with our hands...just seems easier!
Pete and Anne